Editing the Deltek Vision Invoice Report
You can edit the Deltek Vision Invoice report in any version of Visual Studio, but you must compile the project for SQL Server 2008 R2, 2012, or 2014. Instead of trying to find a computer that has BIDS (Business Intelligence Development Studio for Visual Studio 2008), use any later version of Visual Studio and control the deployment of your reports easily.
Renaming the RDL Files
It is generally a good idea to rename all of the RDL files in the project. Our general naming convention is <client name>_<short customization identifier>_<existing RDL name>.rdl
Rename all the RDLs in the project the same way. If you are creating many Vision Custom Invoice templates, this renaming process allows you to keep your files organized. Renaming the RDL files this way also gives you the ability to identify which Invoice Template you are using in the Invoice Template Editor.
Don’t Modify Existing Report Elements
Try not to modify existing report elements and parameters. Deleting or making changes to report elements can result in unexpected behavior when running your vision custom invoice report. It can also result in report errors when you are viewing your invoice.
“In all negotiations of difficulty, a person may not look to sow and reap at once; but must prepare business, and so ripen it by degrees.” – Francis Bacon
In thinking of this month’s blog, I wanted to write about the hardest part of life, business or personal, and that is negotiating. The world is full of wise sayings regarding negotiating: how to get to YES, get past NO, win, gain an Advantage, close the deal, get leverage, influence or persuade others and so forth. But going out and doing it is much harder than any class or self-help book you read. There are 12 negotiation strategies I use every day.
Each month over the next year, I will lay out 1 of these 12 negotiation strategies to help you in any part of life, business or personal. After all, life itself is a negotiation. The strategies together are different than what most people believe negotiating means.
At 9DOTS we pride ourselves on thinking differently, thinking outside the box. Follow me on this journey, and together, we will use these negotiation strategies to GET MORE.
Negotiation Strategy #1: GOALS ARE PARAMOUNT
Goals are what you want at the end of the negotiation that you do not have at the beginning. Clearly, we need to negotiate to meet our goals. That sounds too easy. But many of us take actions that are contrary to our goals in order to settle. In a negotiation, you should not pursue relationships, win-win or anything else, because you think its an effective tool. Everything you do in a negotiation should bring you closer to your set goal. Otherwise, it’s irrelevant or damaging.
The point of negotiating is to get what you want. Why should you negotiate to create a relationship if it won’t help you meet your goal? Studies show that setting goals is the most important thing anyone can do for themselves.
First, decide what your goal IS, explicitly, at the beginning. And continue to remind yourself of that goal along the way. Too often, we do not complete the goal because we lose focus or get distracted. How many times have you walked into a meeting and said, “What do you want at the end of this meeting that you do not have NOW?” Try it today. You will be amazed at the difference responses everyone will have. Even the slightest difference in the goals can wind up a mess in negotiation.
Not having a goal is like getting into your car and not knowing where you are going. Not checking your goals is like not checking the map along the way. People get distracted. New information emerges. Unless you check the goals at intervals, you are less likely to complete them. Ask yourself, “Are my actions meeting my goals?” The world is full of people that do not do this. They get emotional, distracted, or frustrated. This goes for you in business AND in any personal relationships you care about.
Again, write down your goals. Check them often. I’d love your feedback on these negotiatiom strategies if you try this over the next month before meetings, conversations with family, etc. Did you know your goal heading into the conversation? Did you focus on the goal? How did it work out? I am starting you with just one strategy here, start using it. Imagine how successful you will be with your negotiation strategies once you learn all twelve!
Check back next month & think outside the box with us.
Aside from being the CEO of 9DOTS, I am also an Assistant Varsity Football Coach at Cardinal O’Hara High School. Whether it’s at home or in the office, I have spent my life practicing, preaching and living the TEAM concept and culture. As a coach on the football field, and as a CEO, I try to see the best in each and every member of the team and use that to our advantage. It’s June 2018. It’s half-time. If you are losing, how do you adjust? If you are winning, how do you avoid complacency? I have FIVE tried and true tips from my experience coaching in all aspects of life. Keep reading for FIVE TIPS to coach your team to a WIN in the second half.
In football, halftime can be one of the biggest challenges. If the team is losing, it’s possible to feel a sense of urgency to fix everything at once and panic. This never translates well to the team, and can lead to yelling, dissension, and loss of the second half of the game. If the team is winning at halftime, it’s easy to get complacent and lose sight of the fact that there is still an entire half ahead of us. As you approach the end of the first half of 2018, how do you close out with confidence and win the second half?
Here are my 5 TIPS too COACH YOUR TEAM to A WIN in the 2nd Half of 2018:
- Do a 360 degree team review. Solicit feedback from your “players”. Everyone is a leader. Believe it or not they may have better insights than you ever thought imaginable. After all, they are on the front line and see all the action.
- Make certain you remember all the key moments from the FIRST half – Good and Bad. We cannot solve the 2ndhalf without the knowledge we have gained from the 1st. Show the highlights and the low lights to the team. Ask “why?” Why did we succeed here? Why did we fail there? You might be shocked by the answers.
- Before you address the team, meet with your peer group. Discuss the 1sthalf and what their thoughts are for the 2nd Get the input from your direct staff.
- Address the team. Keep it brief. Explain the good and the bad and the strategy for the second half. During this time, let others speak. We cannot win the 2ndhalf if it’s only the coach’s ideas. We need buy in.
- Let them go! If you have formed your culture and your team, they know what to do. Be strong ing your abilities, trust yourself and your team. If you have learned from your mistakes, it’s time to show it.
Once the halftime is over, there is only one thing left to do at the end of the game: Celebrate the win. But never get too high, because the next challenge is only one game away.
Check back next month & think outside the box with us.
Take this quiz See if you are more left-brained or right-brained dominant & how it relates to 9DOTS!
The right side of your brain is associated with creativity, imagination, and the arts. The left side of your brain uses logic, analytic thought, and reasoning. Some CFOs, CEOs, accountants, etc. enjoy focusing on numbers, while some would rather focus on the creative aspect of a project. No matter if your quiz determined left-brained or right-brained, dashboards and data visualization software can work for you.
Left-brained: It takes time to process complicated images, jumbled words, and thousands of numbers. Even if you are math-oriented, use your customized dashboard to make quick decisions to benefit your bottom line AND THEN drill into reports and study them in a more organized fashion. This leaves less room for error and more fun for your logical mind!
Right-Brained: customize the dashboard to exactly how you need to see for your business. With tons of colors, charts and new, creative ways to get a look inside your business, it will be even easier to make snap-judgments. Make quick decisions no matter which way you think best by implementing data visualization.
“The brain processes images 60,000 times faster than it does text” (business2community) Solving your data problems with data visualization engages BOTH the left brain and right brain. Even the word DATA (left-brained) & visualization (right-brained) combines the two modes of thinking perfectly. Look at the photo below. Which sign is quickest and easiest to process?
When you are driving, you have to easily and quickly process a pedestrian crosswalk. You don’t want to slow down, try to read the description of the sign, AND THEN try to understand the sign. Treat your business the same way. By consolidating spreadsheets with and endless scrolls of numbers & figures, data visualization, creates visuals of that data. It uses graphs, charts and images so you can quickly process answers and where you need to go next. Which photo is easier to understand at the speed in which you need?
Quickly steer the car & direct your business. Make decisions based on your metrics with this valuable tool. Drill down into reports to understand the numbers anytime you need! People often assume that a left-dominated brain would have a much easier time relating, but it is actually a combination of both. 9DOTS uses data visualization to cater to both sides of the brain. Use your analytical skills and math loving personality to customize the metric that best describes your organization. Take more creative steps with unique data visualizations, colors and charts. Our graphs, charts, and spreadsheets cater to both left and right brain thinkers. Rapidly analyze patterns and trends as quickly 60,000 times faster.
Pam Woldow of global legal consulting firm, Edge International, has surveyed, talked to & written with SO many lawyers, she has heard it all. Her best practices for successfully implementing LPM for our legal readers & clients answer all of our questions. If you have ever asked ” WHY Legal Project Management (LPM)?” here are The 4 Best Responses 9DOTS can give you based on experience and all of our reading.
WHY comes before WHAT: “What” focuses on all the steps inside LPM: budget, scope, planning. When lawyers only focus on the WHAT, Woldow says they seem to think that LPM is a burden. Implementing it becomes a frustrating addition to their day. If the lawyers see the WHY in LPM, they realize the added value, “Lawyers genuinely want to be the most valuable resource to their clients.”
- LESS UNCERTAINTY : With a budgeting and forecasting solution, reaching a hurdle doesn’t mean you will struggle to jump it. The economy, regulation, product pricing and consumer demand are no hurdles too high. With a customizable solution and a rolling forecast, budgeting is no longer a tedious task that leaves you feeling uncertain about your numbers. Budgeting software makes setting a budget quick and easy, which grants more time to focus on an accurate forecast. You are able to use your budget as a roadmap and your forecast to navigate you down that road despite any risk or challenge you may face.
- FACE CHALLENGES BETTER THAN YOUR COMPETITORS: The ability to easily mitigate risk is a major competitive advantage. Simply put, there are other companies who will face similar challenges as you and not be able to overcome them. You will know immediately by following your roadmap and analysis that you can afford those new supplies. Quickly understand the impact a 10% sales increase will have on your employees. You will understand how a challenge will affect your bottom line and cash flow without spending hours or even days crunching numbers.
- Efficiency & VALUE: “Until recently, you did not find lawyers talking much about efficiency, predictability and effective communication.” They are talking about it now because times are changing, data & technology are rising and advancing, and clients know that the benefits of LPM brings tons of value. Answer all of your “what-if” questions quickly & use them to benefit the future.
- MORE PROFIT & A GROWING FIRM: The fact is, “Today, providing predictable pricing, keeping clients constantly in the communication loop, and making sure their law firm teams are aligned with client needs & priorities, is the way to delight clients and keep them coming back for more.” There is not one person out there who doesn’t want to profit, financially or personally. With a budgeting and forecasting solution, you get both. Mitigating risk leads to a significant competitive advantage which leads to a significant jump in your company’s success. By eliminating inefficiency, quickly overcoming obstacles, and gaining more time to spend on tasks that help your business, you will find time you can take advantage of. Without all of the stressors on your firm, clients will TRUST you and keep coming back.
The Paradigm is Shifting: The “why” motivates and inspires lawyers at the ground level. LPM delivers immediate, real-time benefits and lawyers AND clients are benefitting. “Any lawyer or consultant who says you should only use LPM when someone forces you to, totally misses the boat.” Commit to legal project management. Make LPM become second nature, and with that will come never-ending value to who you are as a lawyer.
Are you wondering, ” WHY Legal Project Management ? ” here are FOUR Answers, but 9OTS has even more. Follow us on social media @ixdots or subscribe to our newsletter to ALWAYS have an answer to your WHY?
Burn the boats . In 1519, Captain Hernán Cortés started a voyage that would take him from Cuba to the Yucatan Peninsula. Cortés had 500 soldiers, 100 sailors and 16 horses on 11 ships. The voyage was to take the world’s greatest treasure. This treasure had been held by Mexico for 600 years. For 600 years, other stronger armies with even better resources, tried to take the treasure to no avail. Cortés knew that he would need extreme commitment from his team to win this quest. The odds were against them. They were a 600-man army with little resources. They had to fight the leader of Mexico for SIXTY DECADES.
Finally, on the day when it was time to fight after sailing many miles, Cortés gathered the team. The team expected Cortés to explain strategy or how they would fight for this great conquest. Instead, Cortés spoke only three words:
“ BURN THE BOATS !”
Cortés and his army burned their own ships! Cortés said, “If we are going home, it’s going to be in THEIR boats!” What happened after that was nothing short of a miracle. Cortés and his army took the treasure. Why? They had no choice. They COULD NOT doubt. The Cuban army had to take the treasure, or die.
Here’s the lesson: Quitting is easy when you have the option.
We all cling to something that acts as our escape hatch or our exit strategy. It’s our safety net to say, “just in case…” What we fail to do is complete that sentence. We lie to ourselves.
We postpone action until we no longer feel fear. Either that, or our actions are shallow attempts never designed to succeed. In reality, we must learn to act decisively in spite of our fear.
It would have “made sense” for Cortés to keep a ship or two. But Cortés & his army had a mission and he knew that the only way to keep himself or his men from quitting on the mission was to take the safety net off the table.
What Cortés did was force himself and his men to either succeed or die. Retreat was not an option. I believe that to truly achieve the level of success we each desire, we have to burn the boats.
Ask yourself what you want. What are you afraid to go after ? What are you afraid to lose ? Why haven’t you burned the boats? Are you afraid of failing?
Burn the boats.
Don’t let fear, failure or the perceptions of others be an option. Remember this, whether it’s your current job, a bad business deal or an unrealistic dream, WE MUST MOVE FORWARD. There are only two possible outcomes: Winning or Learning.
It’s not easy to Burn YOUR Boat. But know this, true success, true happiness won’t come from leaving your boats on the shore & running to them when you are scared. Success comes from no surrender, no retreat. Burn the boats.
Check back next month & think outside the box with us.
Let me lay it on the line for you. I’m fortunate to engage with many different kinds of people every day. Many of them are young and aggressive. All of them have trouble achieving the goals they set for themselves. There, I said the truth. We get frustrated and, more challenging than accomplishing a goal, we have to try to beat self doubt. Maybe you feel you aren’t making enough money. Maybe the job you just accepted isn’t exactly how you pictured it. Suddenly the goals you imagined seem to be out of reach. What can I, John Florio, do to help you achieve your goal? My short answer is.. nothing. But I can offer you the tools you need in order to achieve your goals on your own. My first tool is letting this one statement resonate before you continue reading:
Only YOU know the goal YOU want to achieve. Only YOU can achieve it.
Answer each one of my questions that follows as I hand you the tool box to achieve your goals. Grab a pen & paper. Your first tool is the word VISION; the act or power of anticipating that which will or may come to be. Achieving what you want is done by clarifying your vision of the future. To find an answer specific to the goal you want to achieve, imagine what success looks like to you and only you.
What is YOUR vision of success? Write it down. Find a photo. Visualize it. Most importantly, what is your vision of failure? Determine the ruler to which you measure yourself.
Next, achieving a goal is accomplished with VALUES. What is important to you? What is not important? Decide what it is that you would die fighting for and what challenges make you run screaming. Think of your values as your worth. What you value underlies everything you are and everything you do. Your values determine your problems, your successes & failures. What are your VALUES? Write it down.
Now, focus on your RELATIONSHIPS. You have to manage your most important relationships. Choose them carefully because they will help you achieve your goals. Your relationships are directly related to how you have answered the questions above. Only keep personal relationships with those who encourage and promote what you have visualized as success. Any and all relationships, business or otherwise, should be with those who sustain your values. Who right now, in your life, personal & business, promotes your values?
Once your vision is clarified and your values are locked in, it is easier to set a realistic goal. By clarifying your VISION, VALUES and RELATIONSHIPS, you create the toolbox needed to build & achieve your goals. Your goals may change, but if you are thinking & planning about the answers to the questions I have asked above: What is important you? What is your vision of success? How do you visualize failure? What are your values? Who do you value? Your goals will always be within reach. Self-Doubt will just be a word, not a part of who you are.
We all struggle daily with what we want and where we want to be. It doesn’t matter if you are 23 or 53, we have goals we want to achieve. Goals motivate us. They are the reason we work. Focus on your VISION. Maintain your VALUES. VALUE your chosen RELATIONSHIPS. Your goals will become attainable. Keep believing and look at the answers to my questions every day. Visualize & accomplish your goal for this week, this month, this year! No one likes a quitter. Believe then achieve!
Check back next month & think outside the box with us.
In the last five years, data visualization has transformed (& continues to transform) the construction industry. As with other industries, an obstacle in construction is that much of the data collected can’t contribute to the big picture. The big picture view is needed for helpful, profitable analytics & information. The construction industry is responsible for some of the biggest and most expensive projects & buildings on Earth! Huge amounts of resources means huge volumes of data. I put together quotes, statistics, information from 9DOTS & articles from Construction Global & Forbes to really explain how advantageous data visualization is for the construction industry in 2018. We will start with this from Bernard Marr, best-selling author of Data Strategy.
Number crunching has always been a big part of construction. A commonly heard phrase is that construction companies are “accounting companies which happen to erect buildings. [The construction industry] is an industry where 35% of costs are accounted for by material waste and remedial work. Counting the cost of every screw could be the difference between delivering on budget and bankrupting an organization.
With Data visualization, you are given a picture where owners & builders together can see the difference in price between changes in plan, costs in the future, etc. The owner can see the dollars tied to a project in real time. “Every element in the design is tied to cost estimate. It is completely integrated so the solution changes visually, on the fly,” says John Jacobs, CIO of JE DUNN Construction Group to Forbes.
These changes in on the fly & real time analytics create better relationships with all parties, offer answers at super speed and most importantly, improving reliability and effectiveness.
In their article on constructionglobal.com, Construction Global says, “the powerful pieces of data that drive a construction company’s day-to-day like: sales data, profit, equipment up time, machinery down time, personnel productivity, asset life cycles, seasonal surges and dips need to be monitored in order to speed up a design process & contribute to waste saving.”
“Material waste accounts for approximately 25% of a project’s cost, and rework adds an estimated 10%.”
Today, the tools available for architects, engineers and construction companies put an end to the waste of materials, time & money.
As often said in the 9DOTS blog, efficiency is the key to competitive advantage, success and a plush bottom line. Data visualization puts EVERYONE involved in the project together. It gives each person the ability to see the numbers in real time and discuss them. This reduces risk and offering a higher reward. “By 2030, the worldwide market for construction services is expected to grow by 85% to $15.5 trillion,” adds Marr, author of Data Strategy. This can create challenges for the construction organizations that do not have their own Data Visualization software. Insight into your business is the KEY to the future of the construction industry & 9DOTS is willing to help every organization embrace insight & data analytics in order to put the end to wasting time, money & materials.
Welcome to 2018! I hope everyone is off to great start to the new year. This has been a great month to begin understanding YOU. After all, we are closing in on Jan-YOU-ary. There is no better time than the beginning to review yourself. Recognize the faults and opportunities for growth & use them to TRANSFORM. If January got off to a rough start, begin again with February.
The definition of transform is “to make a thorough or dramatic change in the form, appearance, or character of.” The 9DOTS team isn’t changing our P&L, or our core competency! Our culture, commitment and mission will always remain the same. But we need to comb through 2017, even the days of 2018 as they come, and identify where change is necessary. I have to understand the choices I made & make a new choice to dramatically change for the positive of the company.
When I look back on the 9DOTS yearly results (& even my own personal results), I’m forced to think about what we did differently. I even think about where we stayed the same. There is the old school of thought that says, “if it aint broke don’t fix it.” And the new school that says, “Adapt or die.” Is it ok to grow the business at 3, 5 or 7%? Jeff Bezos at Amazon would tell you NO.
What I see when I look at our financials & how we do business, I see that we need to TRANSFORM. We need to empower our teammates, our partners, our employees to help us understand the WHY behind the numbers. I need to make changes based on mistakes in the past. I see that we have to understand the heart of who we are in order to become the best version of 9DOTS. This is the same when it comes to our personal lives as well, not just business. The openness to being wrong in some of our choices must exist in order for growth & transformation to take place.
Friedrich Nietzsche said, “A thought, even a possibility, can shatter and transform us.”
Here at 9DOTS we will continue press the limit. I challenge all of you today to make the transformation. Find the WHY, challenge and welcome the possibilities. Transform in 2018.
You cannot and will not grow exponentially without transformation. You have to review your mistakes, review your actions & use them to transform into an even better version of yourself. Once we study our process at all levels and question the status quo, once we CHALLENGE the status quo, then maybe, just maybe, that one singular thought, that one singular possibility, will transform us.
Check back next month & think outside the box with us.